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Interview with Björn Gelotte (In Flames)

IN FLAMES represent the best of metal’s past, present, and future. New Wave Of Swedish Death Metal architects and innovative purveyors of groove, hard rock, and melody, the band’s artistry, influence, and stature loom as large as the vibrant style’s horizons. The widely recognized titans boast an impressive and diverse catalog celebrated internationally. IN FLAMES are as vital (and even more energized) today than when they unleashed classics like Come Clarity and Clayman in decades past.

“IN FLAMES are one of the few bands to successfully pull off a radical stylistic shift and not only maintain but actually grow their fan base, while also staying true to the band’s core sense of self,” Revolver Magazine wrote in 2020, saluting their dual status as hooky hard rock heroes and melodeath icons.

The continued popularity of anthems like ‘Only for the Weak’ (72 million streams on Spotify alone), ‘Cloud Connected,’ ‘Alias,’ ‘I Am Above,’ ‘Pinball Map,’ ‘Zombie Inc.,’ ‘Artifacts of the Black Rain,’ and ‘Come Clarity’ demonstrates how much the fans embrace the diversity of In Flames

The songwriting duo of singer Anders Fridén and guitarist Björn Gelotte (both of whom appear on every IN FLAMES release since 1995) persists as one of the most potent creative teams in heavy music.

Foregone, the furious fourteenth studio album, combines the greatest aggressive, metallic, and melodic strengths of their landmark records with the seasoned songwriting of their postmodern era.

“In a way, it sounds stupid to say we wanted to be more ‘metal,’ because we always felt that we were,” Fridén observes. “Over the last couple of years, the world became even more hostile and evil in certain ways. We have a war in Europe. People, in general, are more stressed. All of that energy and anger helped fuel this album. We went in to make something on point, heavier, and yes, ‘more metal.’”

Gelotte concurs. “We made an aggressive album. We kept the dynamics, some big epic choruses, heavy guitars, lots of kick drums, and melodies. That’s who we are and who we’ve always been.”

Foregone is the second IN FLAMES album with bassist Bryce Paul and drummer Tanner Wayne, the first with ex-MEGADETH guitarist Chris Broderick, and the third with Grammy-winning producer Howard Benson (MY CHEMICAL ROMANCE, THREE DAYS GRACE). Mike Plotnikoff (ALL THAT REMAINS, WARBRINGER) engineered at Benson’s West Valley Recording Studios. Joe Rickard (10 YEARS, STARSET, DIAMANTE), who played drums for IN FLAMES from 2016 through 2019, handled mixing duties.

“Tanner is the best drummer we’ve ever had,” Fridén says proudly. “I don’t say that to diss anyone that came before. Tanner has so much energy and there is so much stuff going on all of the time. Bryce is an amazing bass player, really, really heavy, with a good feel. Chris comes in with all of his knowledge of the guitar. His solos are way different from Bjorn’s and the combination of those two guys just works perfectly. It’s easy to do what I do on top of it because the foundation is so solid.”

Songs like ‘State of Slow Decay,’ ‘End the Transmission,’ ‘Bleeding Out,’ ‘Meet Your Maker,’ and ‘The Great Deceiver’ pulsate with hypnotizing power and furious anger. There’s desperation, a raw nerve exposed, brought on by the chaotic dystopia of post-pandemic society.

“This album is about lost time. Everything is going in the wrong direction,” Fridén explains. “We can’t make up for the lost time. That’s why the album is called Foregone. We’re destined to end. That realization creates different emotions – panic, frustration, fear. ‘Scary’ isn’t a horror movie or an angry metal guy screaming. The real horror is what’s going on in the news from around the world. We are basically doomed. The album is about the few moments we have left and what we do with them.”

The melodic guitars, crushing riffs, and high-speed tempos that define much of the IN FLAMES catalog first crystalized on their second album, The Jester Race (1996), complete with hints of the catchy choruses to come. Whoracle (1997) is the rawest and arguably heaviest IN FLAMES album from the 90s.

Metal Hammer declared melodeath masterpiece Colony (1999) “an undisputed fireball of an album.” Clayman (2000) introduced synths and more prominent clean vocals, with accessible hooks, without sacrificing the band’s overall intensity, resulting in their first Top 20 album in Sweden. Reroute to Remain (2002) took the groove element even further and broadened the American audience.

Soundtrack to Your Escape (2004) expanded the arena rock bombast. Come Clarity (2006) is a perfect metalcore slab, as majestic as the American bands IN FLAMES inspired. Even as it stepped away from death metal, A Sense of Purpose (2008) delivered some of the band’s best and most eclectic songs.

The gothic groove metal of Sounds of a Playground Fading (2011) paved the way for the unapologetic arena rock of Siren Charms (2014) and Battles (2016), albums full of Active Rock hooks. Fans of the more aggressive side of IN FLAMES heralded I, the Mask (2019) as a return to form. Foregone masterfully, if improbably, manages to serve all sides of the IN FLAMES fanbase, with powerful force.

“We’ve had our fair share of times when we were trying to please others,” Fridén reflects. “‘You should write with other people. You should go after radio.’ We tried it but it wasn’t for us. With this album, we didn’t even think about anyone else or any of that.” The major strength of Foregone, and of IN FLAMES altogether, continues to lie in the long partnership between the singer and guitarist.

“Bjorn and I have 100 percent trust in each other,” Fridén says. “He can give me a piece of music and know that I will give him something back he’ll feel proud about. I know his way of playing and it’s something I love singing on. He’s from that Ritchie Blackmore, Jimmy Page school of soulful, bluesy guitar players. And he has a good melodic sense. I know him inside and out and I love him to death.”

 Both men continue to follow their own compass. “It’s impossible to please everybody. So the most important question to ask is always, ‘Do we like it?’” Gelotte points out. “If I didn’t like the music we play, I couldn’t believe in it. It’s a lot of time away from family. I wouldn’t do this if I didn’t love it. That’s why we’ve been able to do it for such a long time; because we actually enjoy what we do.” 

The band built a stunning reputation with devastating, crowd-moving, inspired performances around the world at every major rock and metal festival imaginable, on festival tours like Rockstar Mayhem and Ozzfest, headlining multiple treks, and touring with their heroes, friends, and giants in the genre.

The band regularly headlines some of the biggest stages and festivals in the world. The list of IN FLAMES tourmates boasts SLIPKNOT, MEGADETH, JUDAS PRIEST, KILLSWITCH ENGAGE, WITHIN TEMPTATION, and LAMB OF GOD. (Over the years, they even took newer bands like GHOST & GOJIRA as support acts.)

“I’m really proud of what we achieved and that we never went away,” Fridén says reflectively. “Sometimes you’re loved, sometimes you’re not, but we always pushed ourselves and created the music we felt was awesome. I’m so proud and happy with Bryce, Tanner, and Chris, what they’ve brought into the band, on the recordings, and with their energy, and where IN FLAMES is at today.”

A sense of pride, accomplishment, and continued vitality are evident every time the band takes the stage, and all over Foregone. The album itself represents IN FLAMES of the past, present, and future.

“Not caring about anybody’s opinion but ours is a great situation to be in,” Gelotte says. “We’re confident in what we’ve done. We love what we’re doing. And we’re constantly exploring forward.”

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[Review] Mayhem @ Croxton Bandroom, Melbourne 21/01/2023

Even if you’re not into Mayhem or Black Metal, you would have heard stories of this band, they are one of the most notorious acts to play stages around the world. You don’t go to see Mayhem, you go to experience it. The last time I saw these guys they played De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas in it’s entirety and THAT was mind blowing! This time around, well… we will get there.

This was my first time heading to the Croxton Bandroom and it’s a pretty decent venue, just a bit smaller in capacity to Max Watts in the city but the layout is great as you can get a good view of the stage anywhere in the room. I stood to the side of the sound desk, as is tradition, cause you know, there is no better place to hear it than standing next to the people mixing it.

Kicking off tonights disorder is Melbourne’s own Werewolves. I have been wanting to see these guys live since hearing their album What a Time to be Alive back in 2021. These guys came out and gave the crowd a complete 30mins of solid machine gun precision blasts, it was incredible, they did not let down my hype or expectations at all! The room was filling up pretty quickly and I did have a bit of a laugh to myself as it was stereotypical black metal fans in the crowd, standing, arms crossed and nodding their heads in time, a couple of people were head banging and getting into but yeah, just a bit funny when people play the stereotypes, in saying that, each song was met with applause and screams of appreciation so everyone was still into it. If you can, go and catch these guys play, Dave Haley is one of the best drummers going around and watching him is always impressive. Ending on their first single of What a Time to be Alive, I Don’t Like You with “Don’t get the shits now, this is out last track” got the reaction they wanted from the crowd with more movement and involvement, Im really keen to go and see these guys play again somewhere.

Next up is Ulcerate from New Zealand. Coming off the back of blistering blasts and thrash guitars these guys had a polar opposite approach, with their Progressive Doomier style of playing, no less impressive though. Their drummer is unbelievable, his fills and playing style had me focusing more on him than anything. Ulcerate had a 45/50min set and played probably the same number of songs as Werewolves had in 30mins, they seemed pretty long and intricate. There were a couple of issues when the guitarist changed to a cleaner tone, I found that it got lost in the mix and unfortunately the room was pretty damn full at this stage so there was no chance of getting closer, what a shame that they played to a 3/4 full room. A quick thank you to the crowd was the only interaction from Ulcerate, they came out and got the crowd in the mood for the instilling anarchy coming up next.

By the end of Ulcerates set, the room is completely full, looking around, people are getting hyped and excited for what we are about to witness. As I watch the stage set up and looking up at Hellhammers drum kit is nuts, its massive! You can’t see him playing it, you just hear it. The stage goes dark, smoke fills the air, then everything goes red and the opening track of Daemon, Falsified and Hated explodes. Atilla takes the stage like a ghoul that has just come out of the grave, the guy is next level. Cloaked, painted and baring a bone cross he moves erratically and with the strobe lights, it even looks puppet or animated, eerie effect but goddamn it just adds to the experience of The One True Mayhem. They play 3 Acts through the set, first 5 or 6 tracks are newer material with the likes of Malum and Bad Blood, then they dissapper and all come back fully cloaked to give us tracks from De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas. The crowd go absolutely nuts for Freezing Moon. I could never get sick of hearing those drums live, the amount of reverb on them is crazy. The Third and final act was the Deathcrush EP, banners showing black and white pictures of the original or line up from the ep, and the band coming back out to Silvester Anfang then kicking into Deathcrush itself! This is the second time I’ve seen Mayhem, the first being De Mysteriis… in it’s entirety, now that was unreal, seeing a classic album played in full but I left being greedy and at least hoping to hear Deathcrush, finally hearing it live was just incredible and to the effect that these guys put in on stage, it definitely hit home.

No one left disappointed that night, full house, all bands played tight and incredibly well and the set had songs from all eras of the band, how could you be disappointed? As I said at the start, seeing Mayhem, one of the greats of the genre is an experience and anyone that is into Black Metal should be trying to see these guys at some stage. Clearly Australia gets it with 2 out of 4 shows sold out.

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Interview with Scott Kirkland (The Crystal Method)

THE CRYSTAL METHOD (USA) return to Australia for the first time since the Big Day Out in 2007!  Considered to be one of “the” Electronic Dance Music pioneers.

Along with The Chemical Brothers, Fatboy Slim and The Prodigy, THE CRYSTAL METHOD are credited with being pioneers of the Big Beat genre and Electronica movement. Together they took electronic music out of warehouses and onto some of the biggest festival fields in the world!

Don’t miss THE CRYSTAL METHOD bringing the energy and excitement with a show stacked with bangers – Name of the Game, Busy Child, Trip Like I Do, Born Too Slow, Keep Hope Alive plus heaps more!

The Crystal Method Tour Dates

Factory Theatre
The Triffid
Lion Arts Factory
170 Russell
Rosemount Hotel

Ticket link here: https://metropolistouring.com/the-crystal-method-2022/

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Enter Shikari @ Forum Theatre, Melbourne 11/11/2022

The Forum in Melbourne would have to be one of my favourite venues, it looks absolutely stunning and I’m yet to hear a bad mix there, it’s magic. It has been a few years since I was last here and it still blows my mind when walking in. For those of you who haven’t been there, think a Greek auditorium inside a venue, an incredibly high ceiling with lights that look like stars, my words won’t do it justice, just go to a show there. It’s the perfect setting for tonight’s upbeat and energetic crowd who are an incredibly mixed bag, there were death metal shirts, the hardcore/punk shirts, the goth chicks, the woo girls and the guys that looked like they just finished work and come straight to the gig! Everyone was keen to be here.

Opening tonight are local up and comers Windwaker, who I found out during the set was the “new” singers first time fronting the band, apparently there was a change of the guard recently. For a first show taking the front, this guy nailed it. There is a reason these guys are getting more and more hype, they deserve it! Straight from the opening notes they came out hard and fast, the energy was high, and they smashed through their set with incredible precision. They had the crowd in the palm of their hands from the start with their catchy as hell riffs and then won over the filling room with an awesome cover of Britney Spears, Toxic. Great choice for opening tonight’s gig!

Creeper, punk, goth, English rockers had a hard time following up Windwakers incredible set but goddamn, they got there, won over and made a room full of fans out of The Forum by the end of their set. Going from energetic electro metal to a mix between Misfits and My Chemical Romance was a massive difference and you could feel it in the crowd, people were unsure but for their first Aussie gig ever, Creeper showed us the reason that they are the main supports for Enter Shikari. Their energy was incredible and regardless of crowd reaction or how little they had at the start, that front man riled them up got them to start a crowd chant and sing along. They have a female keyboard player who stayed to the back most of the time and had backing vocals occasionally but mid set she grabs a mic and comes center stage and sings a duet song with the male lead and they played their parts well, it was incredible to watch. Their set on a grandiose big sounding song that was the perfect ending and switch to the headliners.

Enter Shikari, the reason we all came out tonight, they bring with them a message of human kindness and disgust at the corporate/capitalist ideals, anyone who has listened to them or seen them live know they carry this mantra or outlook in life. Their crowd have the same vibe, the entire night, everyone is friendly and there to experience the ride of the show. Coming out to The Great Unknown, the crowd immediately starts singing and it doesn’t let up until the end of their set. Rou sets the rules, forget the outside world for the time of the show and 2nd rule is dance like nobody is watching, which everyone did. They blast through a great set of classics and latest material like The Pressure’s on, Dreamers Hotel and Juggernauts. When playing Destablise and Anaesthetist, the venue physically shakes when it hits the breakdown sections and the crowd are jumping, a man-made earthquake, there is no other feeling like it. The band take to the crowd towards the end of the set during Mothership, Chris and Rory jump down for a mosh and then Rou goes rogue and runs around the entire venue jumping through the crowd and crowd surfing everywhere. They end their set with a crowd singalong to Live Outside with and amazing coloured light show to match.

As previously mentioned, the Enter Shikari message carries some weight to it these days, it’s a reminder that you should be kind to each other, we are each human individuals that should be looking out for each other instead of having this ideal that we are against each other in all aspects of life. To live in the moment of the show and forget the worries of the outside world for 90mins is a small reprieve that they like to remind people. I don’t tend to get preachy in these things, but these guys live by their message, check them out if you haven’t already, well worth the listen.

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Devin Townsend – Lightwork

Strap yourselves in and get ready for another journey across the soundscapes with your friendly and loveable Canadian, Devin Townsend. You’re about to go down into a wormhole of strange and wondrous creativity coming out in aural form. Prepare for Lightwork, aptly named, this album is dynamic, creative, cinematic and above all, epic, it makes for incredibly easy listening, which is great because when it comes to Devin Townsend’s music, there are so many layers to it and you can never get everything on the first listen.

Straight off the bat, this guy’s voice is just phenomenal, the range, the way he uses it to set the mood and tone of a song, just as much as his guitars or synths, is just unreal. Yes, that might sound obvious to some people but there are bands out there who use the vocals as the filler part of the song, it’s all about a riff, definitely not the case when it comes to this guy’s music! He keeps his voice cleaner and more ethereal throughout this album but does also throw in some of his classic screams to change it up and make great use of his dynamics. The track Heavy Burden creates a strange effect with multiple voices being blended and layered over each other to sing one line, it’s incredibly well done to have it so clean, it took a few listens to grasp the full effect and hear the multiple layers, this is the kind of creativity that I appreciate, out of the normal thinking that makes the music much more interesting.

Devin Townsend is a busy man, Lightwork is the 5th album he has released in the last 2 years. He released the Quarantine Sets he streamed during 2020, then also Snuggles and The Puzzle and now releasing this little gem. Releasing this amount of content or music just goes to show that he is in this for the art and enjoys showing off his creativeness or it could be that he just needs to get all the crazy music out of his head and will just unleash it upon the world, either way, its good fun.  During the creation process there was a drop of Call of the Void that would be named one of the singles for this album, the other being Moonpeople. These two tracks are probably on the lighter sounding side of the album, but they are just as experimental as the rest. They set the tone that the vocals and synth instruments are more the focal point here than the heavier element. It’s all still there and is more the foundation or the gel holding the songs together.

It wouldn’t be a Devin Townsend album without some completely out there sounds and when you get to Dimensions and hear that incredibly in tune guitar solo (he writes in sarcastica font) you will just smile and laugh because, why the hell not!? Dissonant, I think is the term professionals use with these types of things. Heartbreaker shows a bit more of the weirder side of his creativeness with the number of layers to his music, the guitar riff in this song just has a really nice sway to it, you won’t be able to help but get into it. My favourite track on this album is Celestial Signals, this song is epic, it has a massive sound and will make an incredible addition to the live set. I can see a stadium singing and moving to this one.

From start to finish, Lightwork will have you moving and singing along in no time. It is light at times, it is heavy at times, it can also be downright strange at times, but that’s why you come along to the Devin show, something new and different.

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Abreact – Deceivers are Coming

The Bendigo Hardcore legends, Abreact, are back with a brand-new album, Deceivers are coming, and they are just as hard-hitting and dirty as ever. This is the bands’ second full-length album in their 14 years of being together, forming in 2008, Abreact released their debut album Entities in 2012. A couple of singles and The Warehouse Sessions, which was recorded in Vancouver since this time but never a follow-up album, a band with the quality over quantity ideology, and goddamn, this is all killer and no filler!

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Abreact, these guys are old-school hardcore, in music and ideology. They have a minimalist approach to their music and sound but don’t get me wrong, they sound massive for a 4 piece. With distorted dissonance coming from the guitar, a punchy as hell bass tone filling it out, and then put that on top of a seriously hard-hitting drummer, people wise that’s not much, instrumentally, well you take a listen for yourself, and lastly adding in the pure aggression and angst of Josh Cahill on vocals, you have an incredible mix for this band.

The work for this album started back in about 2020, Abreact released Paper Planes during the midst of the pandemic, and chatting to these guys during that year, they weren’t sure what exactly was going on, so they released it when they had the chance. This song and the other more recent single Honesty are the gateway songs into Abreacts world, they are easy to get into, chunky as hell and you will break your neck headbanging to these tunes. Paper Planes was also the first song/single to introduce Josh on vocals, this whole album is filled with some intense themes which he screams right into your face.

The previously mentioned songs are only the taster of what you will get on Deceivers…, stacked from start to finish with heavy, dirty riffs that sound like they are scraped off the gravel and then put into audio form with distortion, The Hate Resistance is a perfect example of this, pure dirt and grime! Abreact shows that something doesn’t have to be all fast riffs or technical to be dark and heavy, Occupy has a great mix of dynamics and is probably one of my, if not the favourite off the album, just wait for that song end, chaos ambience, brilliant!

Deceivers Are Coming is a strong and hard-hitting second album, they have taken everything that was done on Entities and just beaten the crap out of it, recorded that, and then sung over it! It takes no prisoners and shows you why they one of the best in business at what they do. These guys are always incredible live, and I can’t wait to see how much heavier these songs get with their own energy at a gig, make sure to get out and catch them when you can, you won’t regret it!

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Munitions – Black Wind

A new band surges forth on Black Winds from Melbourne, Victoria. Meet Munitions, a death metal band that hasn’t been in the scene for that long, but all the members on this EP are gig-hardened veterans from the likes of, Join the Amish, Nemesium, Desecrator, Vulture Culture, Blunt Shovel, and Embodied, just to name a few. Hopefully, you would have heard or seen some of those bands and know the kind of talent you will hear on this 4 Track EP.

With a blackened death metal sound that incorporates a hell of a lot of groove, this 4 track EP is short, sweet and straight to the knifepoint. Black Winds is completely stacked with neck-breaking guitar riffs that will have you headbanging from start to finish and then going for another round, it’s that catchy! There is an overlying darkness to the EP that just seeps from it, that seems to come from the great use of the chord progressions and riffs, it never sticks to the one thing for too long and the drum beats change it up to give the same riff a completely different feel.

Recorded, mixed and masted by Luke Walton at Danger Tones Studios, formerly Goatsound Studios, in Melbourne, I know some of you readers who know the local scene will have heard that name before. Munitions have done well to capture everything that I would imagine they bring to their live sound, the EP is definitely groove orientated above all else and I would be keen to see this being performed and a crowd moshing, going nuts to these songs. All the little intricacies and subtleties are kept in the mix, and you can appreciate the skill that is involved with playing these tracks. After going back and relistening a few times, I find more riffs or sounds that just add an eeriness to their songs, its great!

If you are wanting a new band to sink your teeth into Black Winds is the EP for you, dark, catchy, heavy, it ticks all the boxes when listening to it and it would come out great live, I would imagine from these guys. These guys clearly mean business, already hitting the ground hard with a recording and a string of live shows around the state. Munitions are making sure you know who they are, get out and catch them live.

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[Review] Be’lakor @ Corner Hotel, Melbourne 20/08/2022

Tonight, is a night full of incredible melodies, whether it’s from a black, death or just a straight up metal riff, there is melody in the air coming from all these bands. It’s been a little while for me since going to a local Melbourne scene gig, it was a great reminder of how supportive and kind the scene really can be. This is a sold-out show and it’s great to see a line outside at a venue for a local gig, its been years since seeing that kind of thing, the patch vests are out, there are familiar faces around and the Jack Daniels is flowing!

Opening the festivities is Black Lava, bringing on their melodic black sound with killer riffs and an absolutely cracking snare sound, that thing cut through the mix perfectly and the drummer was hard-hitting, perfect combination. Being a Black Metal 4 piece band can be hard, you need to consider how everything gels together live, clearly, these guys know what they are doing because they had a full band sound with just the one guitar, you could hear all the intricacies of the music without it sound thin. While watching though, I realise I’ve seen the beast of a vocalist before and note that it’s the singer of local Black Metallers Blackhelm. Anyone into Watain or Satyricon-style bands should check them out. They played to a half full venue at 7:30 but they got everyone there into their music.

Next out for this night of tightly played melodic music is Andy Gillion and his band, featuring 2 members of Orpheus on bass tonight, Chris and Leon. This is a completely instrumental set and this type of thing can either be really entertaining or drag on, lucky for me it was the first option. Andy and his band are incredible to watch, these guys make playing guitar look easy. Their playing was so fluid, their right hands just seemed to wash over the guitars while their left was all over the fretboard, it felt like I should be taking notes at a masterclass. Andy states that he has been living in Australia for about 5 years now and this is his first Melbourne show played, the appreciation is genuine, and I don’t think he stopped smiling for the entire set.

At the end of Andy Gillion’s set, the curtains close and the crowd starts to move closer to the stage, Orpheus Omega are starting to set up. The curtains open with the band coming out to play Within These Walls, the new single that happens to feature Andy in it, who pops back up on stage to shred his solo. Chris has complete control over the crowd with quick and ground-setting speeches, laying down the law of “no crowd surfing” Yeah.. thanks Captain Buzzkill Jeez! (I’m kidding Chris, if you’re reading this… I promise) but he does make up for it at the end of the set with “I’m not telling you people what to do but IF you know what USUALLY happens in this last song and happen to do those things if you are so inclined.. that’s on you” with a massive grin. Orpheus smashes out a killer set of the hits from over the last couple of albums and dedicate Lighthouse from the latest album, Wear Your Sins to a member of the local scene who has recently passed. As I said earlier, this was just the night for the Melbourne scene to catch up and show its solidarity.

The curtains close once more and Be’lakor are now taking their turn in getting ready to darken the room with their progressive blackened sound. The crowd is now at full capacity, and you can no longer move around the venue, the anticipation is high, and the crowd doesn’t seem to have lost any energy at all. These guys know how to write a song, they remind a bit of Insomnium or something along those lines, epic, big-sounding LONG songs, they had about 90mins to play, and I think that was about 8 – 9 songs. These songs though are jammed packed with killer riffs that had the crowd moving and headbanging from start to finish. There were people singing along to most of the songs and their fans were ranging from old schoolers to the next generation, it’s great to see that their music has that kind of reach. Their live sound was amazing and did not disappoint, the amount of reverb on the drums made it sound like they were playing a massive open hall and just gave the music so much more atmosphere.

It is great to see so many people out and about for local gigs once again, I hope this makes everyone else just as hungry to go out and find more local bands and get the scene back to its former glory. I will be humming or playing these damn songs that are stuck in my head for weeks now, thanks guys!

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Primitive – With The Rats And Snakes

Melbourne’s Metal Quartet Primitive are back with their second EP With the Rats and Snakes and they are here to show the world just how far they have come since their first back in 2017. Already having strong foundations of solid Heavy Metal songwriting, Primitive bring you 5 killer tracks that will slam a sledgehammer to your chest with chugging riffs and then slice you up with some sharpened and refined melodic leadwork that is strewn throughout all songs which you will be needing to be put back together at the end of the ordeal.

Summoning their own version of Melodic Thrash, there is always a head banging riff, melody in the background and then add in some wicked riff/drum syncopation for good measure and you have a well-balanced EP. Their sound is heavily influenced by the American Metal sounding bands, guys like Lamb of God, Chimaira or Sylosis come to mind chucking on either this or their self-titled EP.

These guys have knuckled down hard over the last couple of years and improved on everything they did in their first EP to produce a stronger sounding recording and overall band. I would be interested to see how they go with a live scene; they have always been a tight playing band, but I can imagine how they have hit that bar, if not raised it for themselves as well from this process.

The EP starts off with an acoustic intro that builds the anticipation to lead into the single off this EP, the title track, With the Rats and Snakes. Smart move by the guys to make this the single, it shows off all their skills they have in their arsenal and a nice taster for things to come as the EP progresses. Tim’s vocals have become a lot harsher and stronger this time around, there are times where the vocal tracks are doubled up and it creates more depth to his style as in The Last Nail. God is Beneath us throws in some great use of overlapping vocal lines and uses them as whispers or panning, it has a wicked effect on the delivery of the verse.

Primitive have really nailed their tone for this recording, everything is audible and crisp, but you don’t lose the harshness that they are portraying. Once again working with Chris Themelco and Monolith Studios to engineer and then sent off to Tom Cadden at Violent Sound for mastering, they have perfectly captured the little intricacies that are in the riffs, like the melody runs in Broken Hands.

Overall, I’m glad to see Primitive back and releasing new tunes, they are good at what they do, they are incredibly tight live and hopefully they get to show off these new songs and work the live scene hard again. Definitely get out to a show to check this out.

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